Stop Telling Men to Follow Women Into Bathrooms for Transphobic Law

Target: Joseph Backholm, Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington

Goal: Immediately cease advising men to follow women into bathrooms to harass them into signing a petition for a transphobic bathroom bill.

A man campaigning to end an inclusive bathroom law told other men to follow women who declined to sign their petition into the bathroom to make some kind of point. This is both gross and illegal. Men are still not allowed in the women’s bathroom, and neither is harassing anyone in the bathroom to try and get them to sign a petition.

Joseph Backholm, director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) is leading the collection of signatures to repeal Washington State’s inclusive bathroom law that states that people can use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. At a meeting with the volunteers who were going out to collect signatures, he said, “For gentlemen, what I would encourage you to do, if you are so bold and you want to make the point, take your petitions and stand outside the women’s restroom at the mall, and if any of the women don’t want to sign it … ‘Maybe this will be a better time to sign our little petition,’ and we can make the point that way.”

This wasn’t the only time he made this disgusting suggestion. He did it again on a podcast and at a later event even suggested that men go into women’s spas naked to collect signatures. This not only demonstrates a complete ignorance of the law, it’s inciting people to break other laws. He’s pushing bigotry against transgender people by encouraging cisgender men to harass and intimidate women.

This kind of behavior is completely disgusting and cannot be tolerated. Sign our petition to denounce Backholm for inciting illegal behavior and demand he stop using harassment to supposedly stop harassment.


Dear Mr. Backholm,

It’s come to light that you’ve been encouraging men to follow women who don’t want to sign their petitions into women’s bathrooms in order to make some kind of point. This is basically a threat. It’s clearly an intimidation tactic and likely criminal harassment. If you understood what Washington’s law allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice is actually about, you’d understand that it doesn’t let men into the women’s bathroom. You’re therefore encouraging illegal behavior.

Inciting illegal behavior is in itself a crime in many places. It’s bad enough that you’re trying to subject trans people to violence by forcing them to use bathrooms where they’re almost certain to face harassment. Now you’re directing your signature collectors to threaten all women with violence if they don’t sign. This behavior is completely disgusting and needs to stop immediately.

You’re just as bad as the men you claim to worry will pretend to be trans women so they can assault women in the bathroom–which has never happened, by the way. We demand that you immediately stop this gross intimidation campaign.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Womens eNews

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One Comment

  1. Karen Remnant says:

    Stupid little man!

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